That theory was based on the fact that shares have been weak ever since Tesla announced first-quarter earnings and a significantly accelerated production ramp. The implication was that shareholders were skeptical about Tesla's ability to execute on its grand plan. I was wrong.
Investors are still as ready and willing as ever to help support Tesla and its mission.
Filling the coffers
Following the announcement of the secondary offering last week, where Tesla said it would raise anywhere from $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion in fresh equity capital depending on investor interest, the electric-car maker has now filed a recent 8-K with the SEC outlining how the offering played out. Spoiler alert: it went really well.
The underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, exercised all options to purchase all available shares on behalf of investors:
In addition, the Company granted the Underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 1,395,348 shares of Common Stock. The Underwriters notified the Company of the exercise in full of their option to purchase the additional shares on May 23, 2016, and the Offering, including the sale of shares of Common Stock subject to the Underwriters' option, closed on May 25, 2016.
After everything was said and done, Tesla was able to bring in the maximum $1.7 billion in cash. Keep in mind that part of the offering includes some personal transactions by Elon Musk related to exercising some stock options set to expire later this year and the related tax liability, and Tesla receives none of those proceeds.
At the end of last quarter, Tesla had about $1.4 billion in cash on the balance sheet, a sequential increase of $245 million due largely to drawing cash from its asset-based credit line (but not including any cash inflow from Model 3 reservations). Adding in the fresh $1.7 billion alongside roughly $373 million from Model 3 reservations should now bring the company's total cash position up to right around $3.5 billion.
Along with internal cash flow, that should help cover the increased operating expense outlook of around $2.25 billion for 2016.
But at what cost?
Tesla's portion of the secondary offering initially included 6.5 million new shares, with another 1.4 million shares available through underwriter options. So we're talking about issuing 7.9 million new shares. However, that doesn't include the 5.5 million shares that Tesla is issuing as part of Musk's stock option exercise. All told, there will be 13.4 million new Tesla shares trading hands from here on out.
Relative to the 133.8 million shares that were outstanding as of March 31, investors are looking at approximately 10% dilution. That's certainly a hit for existing shareholders, but it's well worth it considering the reduced risk profile now. Besides, it's still better than Tesla taking on more debt.